Of chops and chats
Twitter and the brain
Imagine you're permitted a conversation only if you talk in chunks of 140 characters. Would you agree? For fun, why not. But as a daily habit? Sure as Twitter!
Well no, you wouldn't. Why make such a compromise? Why chop your brain into a fusillade of verse that only poets would normally wrestle with by choice? It's an art of speech you say. That I tell myself too, but the cause for it is unsettling: Twitter is plumage. The handicap of twittering, as compared to superior tools for chat, is accepted willingly in order to belong to the world.
Twitter is wonderful in a pre-chat, or loose-chat mode, but once your brain demands more, where do you go? Well, you stay, chopping your brain, grinding along.
At first, a limit of 140 characters elicits a mode of utterance otherwise muted, and therefore makes it easy to belong to the world. A reply tweet is less invasive, less bulky, than posting a blog comment (psychologically, not technically). Twitter is neutral space, where contact can be made as lightly as brushing past somebody on the street.
But then, once a chat develops, it is held bondage, bizarrely stuttering forward, in a motion that can only be familiar to people used to stop-and-go driving. The mode of exchange changes abruptly, as your brain squeezes through tiny blotches of space. This is your plumage, your art of mainfesting existence, your demonstration of worth, your brain hack. The more you surrender to the stanza, the more you can apparently afford to be wasteful with your time.
I'm talking about incessant twittering. There are people spreading their mind over hundreds of tweets to do what?! To splice into the flow the spit of their minds, wholeheartedly. Twitter is great for blobs of thought and a few repercussions, but for chat? Isn't Twitter a bit ugly for chat - ugly for your brain, to be more precise?
No, it's the handicap we love; the irresistable pull of boasting a staccato of tweets, for the sake of it, and the esthetic of it. If you can afford to blitz your mind over and over to pounce on the air raid of voices, you must be the man! Full lips, tight skin, and clear eyes could be your reward.
As your voice ripples through the concert hall of human awareness, being slavish is a cost you can afford. You're the man. Once you start breaking your thoughts down into one or more tweets, you are giving up reason in favor of plumage. You're slavish, I mean, cool.
A limit of 140 characters means there is more you can say, because you don't have to say much at one time. An exchange is all right, but the form makes me pensive. When two or more people circle a topic, they should have the freedom to jump out of the flow and onto the tarmac of unfettered talk. On a cocktail party, there should be rooms for retreat where dialogues can unwind.
We do have the freedom to jump, but organizing that action takes effort. Applications that allow you to jump out of the flow into superior forms of chat - do they exist? Will they be made?
Not that I am talkative, but I think an option to trigger a group chat on Skype (for example), where brains are permitted more leeway, could be useful. If Twitter would allow that option, I could then maybe send, not an @reply, but mark a tweet to indicate that I'm interested to expand on a particular topic with a different tool/software.
Should you make a fortune with this idea, cut me in.